Friday, March 27, 2009

From Houston to South Bend, "Charitable But Vigorous Critique"

In the highest-ranking response yet to Notre Dame's choice of President Obama as its commencement speaker, the junior American cardinal -- in a rare public call-out -- "venture[d] a comment" on the dispute with a statement released this afternoon in which he termed the invite "very disappointing."

In his bi-weekly "Shepherd's Message" -- most of it dedicated to Pope Benedict's recent letter on the SSPX de-excommunications and the importance of charity in ecclesial disputes -- Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston published the following at the column's close:
In light of what I wrote above, I want to venture a comment on the recently released statement of the University of Notre Dame; that statement noted that the President has accepted an invitation to give the Commencement Address this year as well as receive an Honorary Law degree. The news release then outlines the fact that a number of other Presidents have given the Commencement Address at Notre Dame and have highlighted, in effect, the university's importance. I find the invitation very disappointing. Though I can understand the desire by a university to have the prestige of a commencement address by the President of the United States, the fundamental moral issue of the inestimable worth of the human person from concepetion to natural death is a principle that soaks all our lives as Catholics, and all our efforts at formation, especially education at Catholic places of higher learning. The President has made clear by word and deed that he will promote abortion and will remove even those limited sanctions that control this act of violence against the human person. The Bishops of the United States published a document a few years ago asking all Catholic universities to avoid giving a platform or an award to those politicians or public figures who promote the taking of unborn human life. Even given the dignity of the Office of the President, this offer is still providing a platform and an award to a public figure who has been candid on his pro-abortion views. Particularly troubling is the Honorary Law Degree since it recognizes that the person is a "Teacher," in this case of the Law. I think that this decision requires charitable but vigorous critique.
First run in today's Texas Catholic Herald, as of press time the column had yet to appear in its usual spot on the website of the Galveston-Houston archdiocese and the paper's webpage; the above was transcripted from a print copy of the TCH obtained by Whispers.

The first-ever cardinal of the American South, DiNardo becomes chair of the US bishops' pro-life efforts in November for a three-year term.

SVILUPPO: The fulltext of DiNardo's "Message" has been posted on the TCH website.